Florida requires you to have a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate a motorcycle. This requirement ensures that all motorcyclists have the knowledge and skill to ride safely.
Inexperienced and unlicensed riders pose a danger to themselves and other road users. By requiring motorcyclists in Florida to obtain a special endorsement or license, the state hopes to keep riders from getting into, or causing, motorcycle accidents.
Here is an overview of motorcycle licensing requirements in Port St. Lucie, FL, and what happens when an inexperienced motorcyclist gets injured in an accident. Don’t hesitate to contact Kibbey Wagner, PLLC at (772) 247-3374 for a free consultation with a Port St. Lucie motorcycle accident attorney.
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How Kibbey Wagner, PLLC Can Help After an Accident in Port St. Lucie
Kibbey Wagner, PLLC was founded in 2014. Since then, the firm’s lawyers have recovered over $30 million in injury compensation for the firm’s clients.
Some awards and certifications earned by the lawyers include:
- Board certification in civil trial law
- 10.0 “Superb” rating on Avvo
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Florida by The National Trial Lawyers
The firm’s lawyers have over 27 years of combined experience, including prior work for insurers defending against personal injury claims. The firm’s legal team can assist with your case by:
- Negotiating a fair settlement on your behalf
- Bringing your case to trial if necessary
- Internally investigating the cause and extent of your damages
- Apprising you of your legal options as your case unfolds
When you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Port St. Lucie, Florida, you need an experienced litigator who knows how the other side handles injury cases. Contact Kibbey Wagner to discuss your motorcycle injuries and the compensation you can seek for them.
How Common Are Motorcycle Licensing Requirements?
Most states have special licensing requirements for motorcycle operators. Every state except Alabama requires motorcyclists to pass a motorcycle safety course or a road skills test. As discussed in more detail below, this explains why Florida will not exchange an Alabama motorcycle license for a Florida motorcycle license.
States have motorcycle licensing requirements because research has proven that inexperience is a significant factor in motorcycle accidents.
According to one study, about 20% of motorcyclists ride without a valid motorcycle license. But unlicensed motorcyclists represent 40% of motorcycle fatalities. This means unlicensed motorcyclists are twice as likely as licensed motorcyclists to die in a motorcycle crash.
Florida does not release statistics on unlicensed motorcyclist accidents, but it does release information about the ages of riders injured or killed in accidents. While not definitive, age might reflect the level of experience and training these motorcyclists had.
According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, 100 Florida motorcyclists under 20 were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2021. Another 23 motorcyclists under 20 were killed in Florida motorcycle accidents.
In Port St. Lucie in 2021, 20% of motorcycle accident injuries occurred to riders under 19, and 66% of motorcyclists who died were under 24.
Overview of Motorcycle Licensing Requirements in Port St. Lucie, FL
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) gives riders three options for obtaining a motorcycle license:
- Have a driver’s license and pass an approved motorcycle safety course
- Pass an approved motorcycle safety course and the written driver’s license exam
- Exchange a motorcycle license from any state except Alabama
Florida requires everyone who applies for a motorcycle license to take a motorcycle safety course. If you already have a driver’s license, you can obtain a motorcycle endorsement by passing the motorcycle safety course.
If you do not have a driver’s license, you can get a motorcycle-only license by passing the motorcycle safety course and the written driver’s license exam.
Florida will honor your out-of-state motorcycle license and give you a Florida motorcycle license when you move from any state except Alabama. If you move from Alabama, you must use one of the other two options.
Risks of Riding Without a License
Unlicensed motorcyclists pose a danger to themselves and other road users. When you get into a crash, a motorcycle provides very little protection. According to the Florida Traffic Safety Dashboard, about 5% of motorcycle accidents in Port St. Lucie in 2021 caused a fatality.
The remaining 95% of injured motorcyclists suffered a range of injuries. The most common motorcycle accident injury was an injury to the upper or lower extremities. These injuries often occur when motorcyclists lose their balance, sending the motorcycle into a slide.
The next most common injury is a head injury. But your likelihood of suffering a head injury depends on whether you wear a helmet. If you wear a helmet, you reduce your chances of head injury by about 37%.
If you ride without a license, you risk losing any injury compensation you might otherwise deserve.
Florida uses pure comparative negligence to allocate liability after an accident. When you ride without a license, the at-fault driver can argue that you lack adequate training to ride a motorcycle safely. If a claims adjuster or jury assigns some fault to you, your awarded damages will be reduced.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Port St. Lucie Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
A motorcycle accident can happen even when you have the proper training and license. Contact Kibbey Wagner for a free consultation with a Port St. Lucie motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss the compensation you can seek for your injuries.